Mays Peak Ramble via Penrose Trail (#665)
ElevationAscent: 794' 242 m
Descent: -814' -248 m
High: 7,870' 2,399 m
Low: 7,183' 2,189 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)
Current trail conditions
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“A gentle panoramic ramble over Penrose Trail (#665) aka Lower Captain Jack's Trail that rings Mays Peak.”— K Keiter
Camping is permitted along the trail and is recommended 300’ from any trail or stream. Use no-impact camping techniques. Pack it in/Pack it out rule applies. Campfire permits are not required but please be sure your fire is dead out before you leave. Respect other trail users. (Per USFS)
Beginning at the Gold Camp Rd. parking area, head southwest down Gold Camp Rd. toward the first tunnel. The road is even and smooth, so it's an easy run. This section of Gold Camp Rd. is amply traveled by motorized vehicles, horses, bikes and foot. Unfortunately, many motorized vehicles are not considerate of others that share the road, so be alert in this portion. As Gold Camp Rd. continues, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs and Helen Hunt Falls are all views to appreciate. This section of the road passes through two bygone stone railroad tunnels, which are stunning from the inside and out! A headlamp is handy for traveling through.
At about 1.7 miles, Gold Camp Rd. intersects with High Drive. At this junction is a portable toilet and parking area. As Gold Camp Rd. reaches the parking area, take a hairpin turn to the right to access High Drive. Most of the time, this road is closed to motorized vehicles and has a locked gate. Go around the locked gate and head up the road about 1 mile.
At about 1 mile, High Drive approaches a clearing with Mays Peak on the right and the trailhead for Penrose Trail (#665) aka Lower Captain Jack’s Trail is directly ahead. Penrose Trail (#665) aka Lower Captain Jack’s Trail winds in and out of timbers, rounds the north side of Mays Peak, offers views of Mount Buckhorn, and carves through deep arroyos for about 2.9 miles until it connects back with Gold Camp Rd.
Fauna: Chipmunks and squirrels.
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Land Manager: USFS - Pike & San Isabel National Forests Office